Neil Taylor: Aston Villa will be stronger for Tottenham defeat
Neil Taylor believes Villa gained valuable experience from Saturday’s defeat at Tottenham despite the heartbreaking nature of the loss.
Newly-promoted Villa led for more than an hour against last season’s Champions League finalists before eventually losing 3-1, the hosts scoring all their goals in the final 17 minutes.
Taylor admitted there were plenty of lessons to learn after the visitors faded badly following an excellent first hour.
But the left-back, one of only five players in the starting XI who had previously played in the Premier League, reckons Dean Smith’s new-look team can come back stronger.
“We can build on this,” said Taylor. “I think it was important for the lads who haven’t played here before and some of the foreign lads to realise this is the level of where you have to get to, fitness wise, and what it is going to be like at these away grounds.
“There are five or six of these this season where you go to tough grounds and have to try and get results by being pragmatic.
“I think we were quite pragmatic and sensible, especially in the first half.
“Of course we would have liked more possession but you have to respect the opposition and the qualities they have got.
“It is a learning curve for us but by no means were we embarrassed, or anything like that.
“It was an eye-opener for a lot of people, for all of us. At the same time we have shown we can go toe-to-toe with teams for a long time.”
Villa stunned Spurs when John McGinn fired them in front inside nine minutes and had chances to extend their lead before the break.
But the home side hit back in the second half, equalising through Tanguy Ndombele before Harry Kane scored twice late on to claim the points.
“I think in the first-half we did OK against a Champions League final team,” continued Taylor. “We gave as good as we got and we looked a threat on the break.
“I thought in the second half we completely lost that threat and it meant they were able to build sustained attacks.
“In the end we were almost waiting to concede, which is tough. We have ended up losing 3-1 but defended quite well, which is tough to take.”